The correct conditions for keeping the budgie mean such conditions that do not pose a threat to his health and life, but contribute to the favorable course of his life processes: the period of adaptation, molting, reproduction, etc.
Budgerigars, preferring semi-desert and steppe terrain and areas with rare trees, live in almost all areas of Australia, but mostly it has a subtropical climate. There is evidence that at present the main places of mass nesting of these birds are found in the southeastern and southwestern regions of Australia. And these areas are characterized by a milder climate and greater humidity (Australia is the driest continent).
The main requirements for the conditions of detention are the correctly chosen light mode, temperature and humidity in the room with the cage, which, despite the good adaptation of budgies, try to bring them closer to those in their natural habitat.
01 The light mode implies not only the duration of the wakefulness and sleep periods of the budgie, but also the quality of lighting.
Why is this so important? Vision is the main source of vital information for birds (navigation, food selection, etc.). In addition, birds are very sensitive to light and light, as this factor has a great influence on their mental health (depressive states, behavioral abnormalities, for example, self-pinching, etc.) and physical health (for example, hormonal malfunctions and, as a result, reproductive cycle disturbance, vitamin D deficiency and, as a result, impaired calcium absorption, quality decline plumage, etc.). In the eye area of budgies, there are a number of endocrine glands, the hormones of which ensure the normal functioning of the body. These glands are able to fully work only with a certain light regime.
The period of darkness is especially important. A full night’s sleep promotes the normal functioning of the parrot’s immune system, reduces fatigue, and minimizes stress, i.e. the budgerigar will be less likely to hurt because his body will be able to cope with small "sores." It is strongly recommended to cover the cage with the budgie during night sleep: this will allow the bird to develop a conditioned reflex to get ready for sleep as soon as you cover the cage with tissue, and also turn on the light at a later time when it becomes necessary or to watch TV for longer without harm wavy. Chronic lack of sleep can cause the following problems: too frequent molting, self-pinching, inactivity and apathy, increased irritability up to aggressiveness, loss of appetite, unregulated laying of eggs in females, etc. There is an opinion that the duration of daylight hours for parrots should be at least 14- 16 hours. However, these figures have a seasonal dependence: the optimal daylight hours for a budgie in winter (fall-winter) are 10-12 hours (12-14 hours of sleep, respectively), in the summer ( on-summer) – 12-14 hours (10-12 hours of sleep, respectively). In a number of painful conditions or disturbances in the behavior of the budgerigar, it is recommended that the rest / sleep period be reasonably increased (this point is necessarily discussed with the veterinarian). The rest period, in addition to a night’s sleep, also includes daytime rest, when the budgerigar is dozing (they especially like an afternoon nap). At this time, it is also important not to disturb him.
About lighting quality
It’s no secret that the ultraviolet part of the spectrum contributes to the synthesis of vitamin D in the body, which in turn is tied to the level of calcium absorption necessary for strong and healthy bones. Therefore, the quality of lighting is so important. You probably already know the fact that under normal lighting for us, birds see everything in black and white. Therefore, it should be as close as possible to the solar spectrum.
Remember that both an excessive increase in the duration of daylight hours and its excessive reduction will affect the health of the budgie: in the first case, this will lead, for example, to lack of sleep, increased irritability and reduced stress resistance, depletion of strength, stimulation of the instinct of reproduction; in the second case, the wavy will not have time to get enough, which will eventually lead to exhaustion, it will be sleepy, depressed; there will undoubtedly be hormonal disruptions.
02 Humidity. Along with the light mode, one should not forget about such a parameter as humidity. Despite the fact that Australia is the most arid continent of the Earth, the above mentioned budgie habitats are more favorable in this regard. According to this, humidity 60% (55-70%) is considered optimal humidity for a budgie.
Why is this so important? First of all, humidity affects the condition of the skin and plumage (protective covers), stimulating the natural instinct of the budgerigar to take care of its plumage. With insufficient moisture, the feather becomes dull, brittle, gradually accumulating dust on itself; the normal course of molting is delayed and disturbed; integuments begin to peel off, causing discomfort to the bird and, as a whole, lead to its oppressed state. Dry air negatively affects the respiratory system and mucous membranes (eyes, nasal and oral cavities), lowering the protective barrier, which means immunity, and increasing the risk of respiratory diseases.
First of all, when your budgie has passed the period of adaptation after the purchase and has ceased to be afraid of you, gradually accustom him to water procedures. This process should always be voluntary, but your task is to draw the bird’s attention to the water. As a rule, budgies love water procedures and you don’t need special efforts to learn them. Some people like to swim under a small stream of tap water, others like to spray them with warm water, and others love to wallow in wet leaves of greenery. As an enticing factor, you can use your favorite toy, a mirror or a treat. The main thing here is to persevere: to offer and to offer, even if at first the budgie does not show interest.
The issue of lack of moisture becomes especially urgent with the beginning of the heating season. The way out may be to buy a humidifier. On foreign sites, veterinarians recommend humidifiers that boil water before releasing warm steam, and not just use cold water, which helps control mold spores and bacteria in the air. Suitable ultrasonic humidifiers and humidifiers with the function of air purification ("air washing"). In a word, modern humidifiers are equipped with all kinds of modes that solve these problems: a mode for allergy sufferers, a “warm steam” mode (heating water before vaporization), an ultraviolet mode (unpleasant odors, such as cigarette smoke, harmful bacteria, viruses and microorganisms are destroyed). An important point is maintaining the cleanliness of the device.
03 Australia, although the hottest continent (in the interior, the temperature can sometimes stay above 41 ° C), but budgerigars definitely very poorly tolerate high temperatures. The optimum temperature for budgies is 22-25 ° C. You can find information that someone once wavy parrots withstood and sub-zero temperatures, but this is only an exception to clean water. It is important to know that the main danger is precisely sudden changes in temperature and drafts, which are vital to avoid.
Maintaining a constant body temperature (and such is the temperature of 41 ° C) in a budgie occurs through several mechanisms, for example, using morphological devices or by changing the level of metabolism and its activity. So, if the ambient temperature drops, the bird increases its metabolism. Birds do not have sweat glands, therefore, at high temperatures, non-feathered parts of the body (for example, paws and weakly or completely non-feathered skin under the wings) can avoid the danger of overheating. When the budgerigar is hot, it presses feathers tightly, spreads its wings, revealing the bare skin under them, stretches its neck and begins to breathe with its beak open. To avoid overheating, in a hot summer season, a drinking bowl with fresh water and a bathing pool should always be available to the bird. In case of heat stroke, it is recommended to apply something cold to the back of the head of the bird as soon as possible (signs: heavy breathing, trembling, staggering, disorientation, loss of consciousness).
In painful conditions, in most cases, the body temperature of the budgerigar drops, so it is important to use artificial heating during this period. There are special lamp-heaters for birds, but you can also use a conventional incandescent lamp of 40-60 W (preferably red or blue – the light will not be so sharp), which is installed above the perch at a distance of 20-40 cm. It is important that part the cells were obscured by dense tissue so that if desired, the budgerigar could go into the shade. You should monitor the condition of the bird all the time that the lamp is working. You can warm the budgie in this way from 2-4 hours a day until the whole time that the bird does not sleep (depending on its reaction to the lamp).
In winter, during interruptions in heating and at night, you can use conventional oil heaters to maintain the desired temperature. The only thing is that they should not be placed close to the cell – they strongly dry the air.
Speaking about temperature control in a room with a cage, it must be said that regarding the use of air conditioners for this purpose there is more “against” than “for”: they are considered as a dangerous source of drafts and a hotbed of bacteria and mold spores.
A responsible approach to compliance with these simple requirements for keeping a budgie will allow you and your fluff to avoid many problems with his behavior and well-being, less likely to contact a veterinarian and make the bird’s stay in the apartment as comfortable as possible.